Government focus on upping literacy and numeracy in young people

This week, Michael Gove has likened the ‘demanding task’ of eliminating illiteracy and innumeracy to fights against polio and TB. Leaving school without at least a C grade in English and maths is detrimental to the prospects of young people, and more than a third of pupils in England fail to get the most basic of qualifications. The government is now insisting that all further education providers much teach English and maths to young people, if they failed to achieve C or above in their GCSEs.

Mr Gove said new tests and more rigorous teaching would help ensure at least 85% of primary school pupils were on course to get good grades in English and Maths at GCSE.

Labour shadow chancellor Ed Balls does not think the coalition government’s plans go far enough to addressing under-performing schools. He said, “Letting weaker schools slowly decline – is condemning too many young people to a second-class education. Labour pledges to ensure that young people will have to study English and Maths until age 18 as part of the new tech baccalaureate qualification. Labour also supports more emphasis on vocational learning.

Ensuring that young people leave school with at least 5 A*-C GCSEs grades is vital to their future prospects. Studies show that pupils from poor socioeconomic backgrounds who start off behind when they begin school really struggle to catch up. The gap between the lowest and highest achievers increases as school progresses.

Bridge Builders Mentoring recognises academic achievement as a key factor in improving social mobility and future success. Our mentoring programme partners mentors from business with boys from lower economic backgrounds and in need of some extra help to reframe their aspirations and attitudes. The programme extends further than academic outcomes, addressing social etiquette skills, relationships and goals.

If you would like to know more about how we are helping young men realise their true potential, call Amber on 0333 200 4703 or email

Helen Robinson